The Weekly Smashback 5/9/16: Charming Charm City

By Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs and Jason “Nardwell” Mani

Every week we will be posting a look back at the previous week in Smash. This week we recap an amateur tournament in Baltimore, head out to California to learn about a uniquely situated scene and check out what went down in Smash 64 around the world.

Xanadu Spring Arcadian

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This past Saturday, Xanadu Games played host to its Spring Arcadian. An Arcadian is a tournament which excludes high level talent, as past Arcadian champions and players on power rankings are barred from entry. Xanadu brought in players for five Smash games: 64, Melee, Brawl, Wii U, and Project M. The Smash 64 tournament proved to be an extremely exciting event, marked by shocking play from unknown players and intense sets to decide the tournament.

Located in the heart of the top 64 scene in North America, Xanadu saw 25 up and coming players descend upon its battlefield. MDVA regulars such as Moonshoes and IceKing, a pair of New York brothers in Troyfullbuster and Gohan, a PA traveler in Apparition and The Smash Writers themselves were in attendance. Not only that, a few crossovers from the other Smash games decided to try their hand, as players such as Tantalus and FendrickLamar tested their general Smash abilities. Smash Writer JAMJAR had earned the No. 1 seed, but his competition was sure to be fierce.

Pool 1 saw JAMJAR easily advance to Top 8 through winners bracket. He earned two 2-0 sweeps in his sets, displaying a powerful blue Kirby and even excited the crowd with an unexpected Link. The rest of this pool saw some shocking results. An unknown New York player, Troyfullbuster, put everyone on notice as he sent SSBL Baltimore Club Member Chinstrap to losers bracket in the first round. Despite this, TO and No. 4 seed Tantalus was able to dispatch him in the second round, earning the right to play for Top 8 against another unknown player. This player was the Kirby main, _____ (Read ‘Underscores’). This Kirby main from Southern Virginia had only been playing the game for four months. Despite his lack of tech skills, _____ was able to take advantage of Kirby’s hitboxes and his own reaction time to defeat Tantalus and earn the right to play in Top 8. The losers side of this pool saw a scramble to advance, as the bracket had been thrown into chaos by these upsets. Zephyr had quite a run through losers, winning his two sets to face Broseidon, who had been sent there by JAMJAR. Broseidon’s Yoshi was able to shrug off the loss and end Zephyr’s run. GT also made an epic run through losers, winning two rounds to advance to the final round against Tantalus. This back and forth set saw Tantalus play Captain Falcon against GT’s Pikachu. Unfortunately, GT’s losers run came to an end, as he missed an edgeguard to seal his victory in game 3, allowing Tantalus to turn the momentum and win on a last stock situation.

Pool 2 saw the No. 2 and No. 3 seed advance from winners side. Moonshoes faced a shockingly tough run, as Troyfullbuster’s brother, Gohan, displayed shocking skill with his Kirby. After earning a victory, Moonshoes was pushed to the limit by FendrickLamar, as the Melee Marth main displayed great spacing and general game knowledge in order to force a game 3. Despite his best efforts, Fendrick was defeated 2-1, though he had proved he was not to be underestimated. Apparition had a bit of an easier run. In his first set, he would be facing Smash Writer Nardwell, who had earned his first victory in his first ever solo Smash set. Apparition destroyed him 2-0 and shook off a challenging Average Joe to advance. Losers side saw Fendrick face off against VA player IceKing. This Pikachu main had been shockingly upset by Average Joe’s Fox, though he advanced in losers by eliminating Nardwell. Fendrick once again proved his worth, as he handily defeated IceKing and earned his place in the bracket. The final spot in the bracket was up for grabs, as Gohan’s Yoshi went Super Saiyan and blasted his way through his first two opponents, earning a matchup against Average Joe. The man from new York would not be stopped, as Average Joe’s Fox was not enough to cease the run, as he was trampled by Gohan. The stage had been set for an exciting bracket.

Winners Semifinals pitted No. 1 seeded JAMJAR against _____. Unfortunately for _____, his inexperience showed as he was overwhelmed by the blue Kirby. JAMJAR earned a 2-0 sweep, though _____ displayed some promise. He was able to consistently stop JAMJAR’s air approaches with quick uptilts, though his lack of Z-cancelling and general game knowledge proved too much to overcome. The other side of the bracket saw Moonshoes and Apparition continuing their recent rivalry. Moonshoes has been quickly climbing the ranks at Xanadu, though early on he had struggled to defeat Apparition. However, in recent times, Moonshoes had claimed a dominant hold on the matchup, leading to quite an interesting battle here at the Arcadian. This set would prove to be no different, as Moonshoes earned his own 2-0 sweep with a Kirby. Apparition made a questionable decision in picking Jigglypuff, as he z-cancelled his dairs instead of allowing the opponent to pop up for a free rest. However, Apparition should come back strong in the rivalry, as he has a strong ability with all characters and should be able to put his variety of mains to use.

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Apparition pulls off a rest combo on Moonshoes.

Losers bracket also displayed a pair of sweeps in the first round. Smash outsiders Fendrick and Tantalus met up, with Fendrick again displaying his shocking skill by sweeping the Falcon main. Gohan also continued to shock and please the crowd, as he overcame Broseidon in a pair of Yoshi dittos. Losers Quarterfinals continued the sweeping trend. FendrickLamar would have to play the newcomer _____. The Melee Marth main proved too strong once again in a sweep which culminated in a 5 stock, quickly earning him the respect of the 64 players. This set was more notable for Fendrick, as he began to utilize Pikachu’s 64 specific strengths, killing frequently with backthrows and fsmash edgeguards. The man also nearly became a 64 legend, as he nearly pulled off “the triple” in game 1. Apparition would also sweep away a surprising player. Gohan’s epic losers run finally came to an end, though he proved his worth by forcing a last stock situation in game 1. Apparition came back strong for the second game and won with a convincing two stock.

 

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Gohan executes a unique combo on Apparition.

Winners Finals was up next, as the top 2 seeds would face off in a back and forth war of attrition. The first three games all came down to last stock, as both players pulled off tough comebacks. Game 1 was a Kirby ditto in which Moonshoes dictated the pace. The typically very aggressive JAMJAR was forced to play a little more tentatively, as Moonshoes loved to float through the air and earn aerial superiority. Despite this, JAMJAR managed to eek out a tough last stock victory. The rest of the set saw Moonshoes switch to his Pikachu to gain a matchup advantage. Game 2 was a constant battle from behind for Moonshoes, as he was down a stock almost the entire game. However, the young prodigy would not be dismayed, as he earned an intense comeback to win. Game 3 was nearly the same, though JAMJAR managed to clutch out a win. Signs of frustration began to show though, as the Smash Writer had begun to fish for desperate fsmashes to earn his kills instead of smarter options. Games 4 and 5 were decisively in Moonshoes’s favor, as the Pikachu player took strong two and three stock wins. He took advantage of Pikachu’s impressive grab game to capitalize on JAMJAR’s errors to earn strong wins.

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Moonshoes turns a bad situation into a kill on JAMJAR.

Losers Semifinals pitted FendrickLamar against Apparition. This set would prove to the toughest challenge yet for the Melee player, though his run through the bracket would not be stopped. The first game was a back and forth affair, as each player took leads throughout the match. In the end, Fendrick’s Pikachu showed too much prowess in edeguarding Captain Falcon, as he won with one stock left. Apparition then changed to his Luigi, hoping to confuse his opponent with combos into Luigi’s signature finishing move. This is exactly what happened, despite Fendrick’s early lead. Apparition lost two quick stocks, but came back strong to win on a last stock situation. In a shocking decision, he once again changed characters, this time to Mario. This decision would prove foolish, as losing the pure killing power of Luigi made taking stocks very tough. Fendrick won the set on a strong two stock, continuing his roll through the bracket.

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Apparition pulls off an absurdly early Up B kill on FendrickLamar.

Losers Finals saw JAMJAR face off against FendrickLamar to earn a right to play in Grand Finals. Game 1 showed that Fendrick was in for a real test, as the blue Kirby took an early lead and never relented, finishing the game with a strong two stock. Despite this, Fendrick showed strong resolve in this game, winning the neutral very frequently and putting a scare into JAMJAR. Game 2 was a complete reversal, as Fendrick took an early lead and carried it to the win. It appeared he had taken a page out of Moonshoes’s book, as he took advantage of strong throws to cement his victory. The next game looked to continue this trend, as JAMJAR faced an early two stock deficit. However, he reversed this situation and fought back hard, tying the game at three stocks a piece. JAMJAR started pulling off strong edgeguards to secure a tight one stock victory. The fourth game was completely back and forth, as the players traded stocks until they were in a last hit situation. JAMJAR dropped a combo which Fendrick turned around into a throw kill, forcing a decisive game 5. This game proved to be a let down and was complete dominance by the Smash Writer, as Fendrick fell victim to a strong four stock. The stage was set for Grand Finals, as JAMJAR yearned for revenge against Moonshoes.

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JAMJAR looking like Studstill with this combo on FendrickLamar.

Grand Finals game 1 was very strong win for JAMJAR, as he won with a dominant three stock. Moonshoes seemed to sense that his opponent had gleaned too much knowledge of the Pikachu matchup and switched over to Kirby for the next two games. These two games would be split by the two contenders, each one coming down to a last stock situation. After splitting these games, Moonshoes switched back to Pikachu, deciding he would ride the matchup advantage to victory. This proved a smart decision, pulling off a tense last hit victory that was marked by intense recoveries by JAMJAR and strong grab game by Moonshoes. This final game proved a strong one for the Smash Writer, as he seemed to have learned how to edgeguard Pikachu with smart bairs. Despite a foolish suicide while taunting with Rock, JAMJAR earned a strong two stock victory, highlighted by a nifty edgeguard to finish off the set and reset the bracket.

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JAMJAR with a series of slick edgeguards to reset the bracket.

Grand Finals Set 2 proved to once again be an exciting affair, as it came down to the third game 5 between these closely matched competitors. Game 1 appeared to be headed for another strong JAMJAR victory, but it was not meant to be. Down three stocks to one, Moonshoes went on an absolute tear of a comeback, earning a riotous victory to send the crowd into a frenzy. The second game was much more even, as the Pikachu and Kirby traded stocks until a last hit situation. JAMJAR nearly failed to earn the victory, as the finishing usmash just managed to send Moonshoes off the top. After a tight victory, Moonshoes turned up the pressure in game 3 to pull off a dominant three stock. He displayed his typical strong grab game, taking advantage of numerous missed z-cancels to earn easy stocks. Game 4 once again saw JAMJAR jump out to a strong lead, as he was up three stocks to one late in the match. However, Moonshoes once again brought it back to even stocks, forcing JAMJAR to the brink. In the end, JAMJAR managed another strong finishing edgeguard to force a fifth game to decide the tournament. This game would prove to be another exciting one, as it was back and forth until the very end. As the game came down to two stocks a a piece, however, JAMJAR turned it up the pressure. Showing he had downloaded Moonshoes’s recovery tendencies, he consistently read the recovery options to finish off the tournament with a handful of strong edgeguards. A champion had been crowned, the Smash Writer had earned his first every victory after a marathon of 20 games in his last 4 sets.

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JAMJAR takes the final stock and pops off.

The Arcadian was truly an exciting event for all. The venue was stuffed to the brim with Smashers of all varieties. The exciting display put on by the 64 players brought together quite a crowd, as the local players yearned for their hometown heroes to defend their turf. The viewers at home were also treated to a great experience, as the likes of Shears, Apparition, Nardwell, and Troyfullbuster treated us to some great commentary. Going forward, expect to see many of these competitors make strides in the larger 64 scene, as an Arcadian is only the first step in proving yourself as a Smasher.

Small Scene Spotlight: Northern California

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Today we travel to Golden State, as we meet a group of Smashers in Northern California who have managed to bring a large region together into a scene using technology and a Power Ranking. Scenes from San Francisco to Sacramento have begun to solidify through the help of such people as Riley “Duncs” Robinson, Alex “Wookiee” Jungsten, Michael “QuitRage” Baker and more. Through the power of a NorCal Facebook group and Power Ranking, a true sense of community has formed.

The history of this scene is a long one, as legends such as ballin4life, Darth Rancorous, tigerbombz, Automatic and Drunk-E-Ness would meet up as early as 2007 to play in events such as 2010’s Armageddon series in San Leandro. The scene in San Francisco would be started in earnest when Duncs moved there in 2012. He found players through Smashboards and hosted events at his house for a couple of years. In early 2014, Duncs saw an advertisement on Facebook saying the Folsom St. Foundry was having a “soft opening” in February as a bar-cade. After 18 weeks of showing up to these Smash at the Foundry events, 64 had found a home in San Francisco for their weekly friendlies and The End is Nair tournament series. QuitRage had also been forming his own scene in Sacramento. These two scenes would finally meet up for a crew battle which San Francisco managed to win by one stock, forming a salty rivalry that would be the true beginnings of an overarching scene.

The scene truly came together when the many NorCal groups found each other via a Facebook group managed by SoCal’s Wookiee. He would semi-frequently travel to Sacramento and used this group to find fellow Smashers to play with during his travels. As the scenes formed and found each other on Facebook, the first NorCal Power Ranking was released just before Genesis 3. After Genesis 3, the many scenes were reinvigorated, as they all began to host more consistent events and even a regional series to continually update the Power Ranking. They even recently found a solid streamer in Edwin, who set up a regional Twitch stream for each scene to use. Their events are now all found on Twitch and the newly created NorCal YouTube account.

The setup of this scene is unique due to its wide spread nature. They each host their own weeklies and come together for larger regional events. Every six weeks, a regional is held in order to judge their skill against one another. Over this period of formation and growth, a few players have risen to the top. Kimimaru, tr3g|hipster and Shihman are the top 3 players of the scene. Interestingly, none of them use the top 2 characters in the game, preferring characters such as Mario or Fox. Stanford’s NattyBroh is a newcomer who is improving fast, quickly increasing his skills by hosting weeklies in Stanford. Dr. Grin, a Sacramento Kirby main, has recently broken onto the scene by giving top player Shihman a run for his money in a Manteca weekly. The scene’s best commentator, Multiball, has also been putting in work as Link, showing true character diversity for this spread out group.

This scene is continuing to grow and show improvement week by week. Their Facebook group has reached 250 members in not even a year. Make sure to join the Facebook group for future updates on this exciting scene. Their various events are streamed on norcalssb64 on Twitch. Videos for the The End is Nair series are hosted by Showdown eSports on YouTube. Their various other series can be found on NorCalSSB64 on YouTube.

The Rest

Super Smash Bros. League Baltimore Club Week 10

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The Baltimore SSBL has entered the tenth week of its season, and with it came a shuffling of its ELO Rankings. Darkhorse came into this week at the top of the ELO with LD hot on his tail in second place. Nine of the club’s members attended this week as the tournament was moved to Teflon Ron’s house while Darkhorse’s basement was being renovated. LD, who has been somewhat absent from Darkhouse as of late, made his reappearance, albeit without his trusty Xbox 360 controller, or his Hori. Darkhorse made a statement early, sending BarkSanchez to Loser’s in a convincing 2-0 Winner’s Semis. Bark battled his way back to Losers Bracket, although Shears gave him a notable surprise, taking Bark’s Pikachu down to last stock with Luigi, just one game after nearly defeating the same Pikachu with Yoshi. In Winner’s Finals, Darkhorse went 1-1 against LD’s Kirby and was subsequently four stocked by LD’s Fox. This set up the rematch between Dark and Bark in Losers Finals. The rematch saw the Pikachu versus Captain Falcon match up once more. In two close games, however, this time it was Bark who emerged victorious, earninga chance to face off with LD in Grand Finals. BarkSanchez and his Pikachu reset the bracket by winning two games in a row with some excellent edgeguards against LD’s seemingly unedgeguardable Fox. The second set started off with a solid two stock by LD. In game two, LD was down two stocks to Bark’s four. After a suicide by Bark, LD took two quick stocks to take the lead. Bark was able to bring it back to even but being at 94% damage left a big hill to climb. LD was able to back Bark into the edge of the stage and finished him off with his signature jab usmash, proving himself quite capable on a Nintendo 64 controller.

Manitoba Biweekly Gets Revived

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Flat lining the last month left the Manitoba Smash 64 scene looking bleak. This week, however, they were shocked back to life and started up again in a new home. Piylo made an excellent run through winners bracket, upsetting the top two seeds, SPLORCH and Talon, to make it to Grand Finals with his Jigglypuff. SPLORCH’s Kirby was then able to take down Talon’s Captain Falcon in Losers Finals to set up the rematch against Piylo. SPLORCH and his Kirby nearly timed out game one when Piylo’s Jigglypuff missed a standing rest in a last stock situation. Game two was a much different story, as Piylo three stocked SPLORCH easily. Game three came down to last hit where Piylo snagged the win. SPLORCH came back in game four and won handily with a JV4. In game five, Piylo was able to overcome SPLORCH’s stalling and won it all with a slick uair.

Deluge

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This weekend, the perfect storm made landfall as Deluge arrived in Cincinnati. Indiana was set to face off against Ohio in seemingly every match. Amida, being from Kentucky, was one of the few outsiders who looked to play spoiler with his Kirby. The most notable upset was Dogs_Johnson, beating out Pugs in Winners Quarterfinals 2-1. LLCSTOISM and Dr Combos both made valiant losers bracket runs, but were cut down in Losers Round 5. LLCSTOISM upset Saltsizzle eliminating him from the tournament to make it that far.  As the rivalry raged on in losers bracket, Amida and Fumbles cruised into Winners Finals. Amida took down Fumbles’s Yoshi in a set that went to game five. This pitted Fumbles against Vinsanity, a fellow Ohioan, as one of the many brother versus brother casualties occurred when Vinsanity eliminated Fumbles 3-2. This gave Vinsanity a shot at taking down the real enemy, Amida, in Grand Finals. Unfortunately for the warring states, Amdia took down Vinsaity 3-1 and the rivalry was left to stew another day.

Remember to follow us on Twitter at @Smash_Writer and like us on Facebook for weekly previews, recaps, and much more.

Want to be included in The Weekly Smashback results, have a small scene you want to see in the spotlight? Shoot us an email at thesmashwriter@gmail.com and we’ll be sure to make you a part of a future edition.

Event Player Media
The Spring Arcadian (MD) Full Bracket
1st JAMJAR Twitch
2nd Moonshoe YouTube
3rd FendrickLamar
4th Apparition
Baltimore SSBL W 10 (MD) Full Bracket
1st LD Twitch
2nd BarkSanchez YouTube
3rd Darkhorse
4th Shears
Maitoba Biweekly (MB) Full Bracket
1st Piylo Twitch
2nd SPLORCH YouTube
3rd Talon
4th Pail
Deluge (OH) Full Bracket
1st Amida Twitch
2nd Vinsanity YouTube
3rd Fumbles
4th Dogs_Johnson
Smash @ The Cave (VA) Full Bracket
1st Clubbadubba Twitch
2nd Mr. Sir YouTube
3rd Rusty
4th iheartqueso
Smash Loft #70 (QC) Full Bracket
1st gogoboydancer Twitch
2nd Captain Fabulous YouTube
3rd Lawliver
4th Hypnoric
GVS (CT) Full Bracket
1st KaZ Hitbox.tv
2nd Fireblaster YouTube
3rd Spongy
4th 6AM
CFL Smackdown (CFL) Full Bracket
1st MrMarbles
2nd TANK
3rd Bamster
4th Hoofy
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